In 2007, I set up Pound Dog Rescue Link to raise awareness about the vast number of dogs in pounds across the UK who are facing destruction. This work led to starting my own rescue, Once Loved Dog Rescue.
In UK pounds, dogs have 7 days in which to be re-claimed by their owners. If they are not re-claimed, as is too often the case, the authorities then have the legal right to destroy the dog.
According to The Dogâs Trust 2007 Stray Dog Survey, 7,892 dogs were unnecessarily destroyed in the UK in 2007. The Dogâs Trust survey in 2009 showed an increase of 11% in the number of abandoned and stray dogs picked up by local authorities, with the figures increasing to a staggering 107,228. These figures are shocking and unacceptable. Over 9,000 of these dogs, who were unclaimed by their owners, were destroyed. This is an average of one dog being destroyed every hour. 31% were returned to their owners due to having been microchipped.
On average each hour:
* 5 dogs are returned to their owners
* 3 are taken to rescue organisations
* 1 is rehomed from the local authority kennels
* 2 are in kennels for their 7 day holding period
* 1 dog is put to sleep
One dog is put to sleep every hour in a UK pound
Some pounds work with rescue groups and organisations to try and reduce the number of dogs that are being destroyed, but each dog has to be kept in the pound for 7 days to give the owner the chance to re-claim. After the 7 days have elapsed, for dogs who are un-claimed, rescue spaces must be found urgently, and there is very little time to get dogs out of the pound to a place of safety. Due to the sheer number of dogs being abandoned or handed over to pounds, there are far more dogs needing help than there are rescue spaces available. For the dogs who cannot be saved by rescues, due to lack of space, some – though very few compared to the number who are put to sleep – are sometimes placed into emergency boarding kennels, to buy some more time to find rescue spaces, but funds are extremely limited, and more often than not, the funds are raised by one or two individuals and they often pay for the kennel fees themselves, more help is always in constant need.
I am constantly saddened by the amount of Staffordshire Bull Terriers that out-number any other breed serving their 7 days at pounds in the UK. Photographs of staffie after staffie on death row are constantly posted on rescue forums. Appeals pleading for rescue spaces are posted daily, with precious few spaces available. It is never ending and becoming increasingly worse.
Sophie & Anthony Lane of Once Loved Dog Rescue decided to use their musical background to try and raise awareness and funds for death row dogs. They wrote a song and made a simple video showing photographs of dogs previously on death row. Most of these dogs were ones that had been rescued from the pound by Once Loved Dog Rescue, but there are also photographs of other dogs that were saved and taken to other rescues. Sadly, rescue spaces are few and far between for these dogs, and only a certain amount can be saved, most of the rescues that take death row dogs are the less well known rescues, who have few resources. The majority of the ‘household name’ organisations do not help dogs on death row.
The song for dogs is currently being registered as a charity.
The song and video were posted on the Once Loved Dog Rescue website, and it was quickly noticed by The Next Room Productions who kindly offered their support and re-worked the backing track of the song to bring it right up to date. New lyrics were written. and the song grew into what it is now, a polished and professionally produced song.
We have also been contacted by a video production company who would like to replace the current home-made video with a professional moving image video.Â This will make the video as professionally produced as the song is, and will give far more strength to the campaign.
All proceeds from downloads go directly to rescues who save the lives of death row dogs. Please download the song and share this campaign with everyone you know.
It is now up to us to be their voice. Together, we can make a difference.
Please see the list of beneficiaries here Rescue Beneficiaries
For more information about death row dogs in the UK please visit: